Struggling with Cloud Integration

Loraine Lawson

It may be cold comfort, writes Kurt Marko of InformationWeek, but almost everyone has cloud integration problems these days.

InformationWeek released its State of Cloud Computing Survey. On one hand, cloud adoption is thriving. On the other hand, cloud integration is not.

Forty percent of respondents say they use cloud services. Those who use it seem to like it: The report found 79 percent of cloud users use multiple cloud providers. When it comes to integration of cloud services, however, the percentages shrink:

  • One-third of SaaS users will not even try.
  • 41 percent do make the attempt to integrate with the vendor’s APIs, a process Marko describes as “the laborious, costly and error-prone path of custom-coding scripts or application stubs around each vendor's API to bridge internal and external systems.”
  • Of those who rely on IaaS (infrastructure as a service) or PaaS (platform as a service), only 14 percent use any comprehensive cloud management software, although 22 percent predict they will…by 2015.
  • 37 percent of IaaS or PaaS users don’t automate or orchestrate cloud workloads, while…
  • 23 percent hand-code automation scripts using vendor APIs.


“Manual coding is an obvious nightmare for application developers, but don't underestimate the challenge it creates for IT operations teams trying to manage a hybrid infrastructure and deploy applications across multiple clouds while guaranteeing service levels,” warns Marko.

I’m not sure what’s going on with the integration work. I can only assume it’s a by-product of companies adopting cloud as divisions, rather than an enterprise strategy. Whatever the reason, it’s bound to indicate companies learned very little over the past few decades when it comes to integration.

Are people just not interested in taking on integration? Are there not enough infrastructure-specific solutions? Is the pain point too low? The price point too high?

The InformationWeek State of Cloud Computing Survey is available for free downloading with the usual user information.



Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Oct 30, 2013 7:38 AM BrookeBeach BrookeBeach  says:
Great post and a clear issue for companies adding to their cloud portfolio. Another report from Oracle was recently released stating that 54% companies said their department had experienced staff downtime due to cloud integration problems. As the number of cloud apps rise, integration is pivotal to break the silos and create a more unified system. In the article Marko mentioned that integration is "laborious, costly and error-prone" - this is exactly the problem Kevy (Kevy.com) set out to fix. We kept seeing companies struggle with lack of integration so established a way for people to integrate cloud apps without the cost or effort. I feel that the low use is not due to lack of interest, but to lack of awareness that a solution is available. Many do not realize that simple integration is even possible. First and foremost people migrating to the cloud need to realize the immense opportunity that lies in fully integrated solutions. Once this happens, true, API based cloud integration will be an expected solution to migrating to cloud applications. Reply

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